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Conventional Forces: Stability Talks

Volume 492: debated on Thursday 21 January 1988

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether it is their view that "conventional stability" in the land areas of the states participating in the NATO/Warsaw Pack discussions cannot be put at risk by sea-launched or air-launched weapons; and if this is not their view, whether they will ensure that such weapons are fully taken into account in the mandate for the next stage of intra-Europe arms reductions.

We do not underestimate the capabilities of such weapons. However, the NATO Alliance has made clear in its Brussels Declaration that the aim of the Conventional Stability Talks should be to establish a stable and secure balance of forces at lower levels in Europe, focusing in particular on disparities and on capabilities for surprise attack and large-scale offensive action. The priority therefore is to eliminate the massive and destabilising Warsaw Pact superiority in ground forces in Central Europe.